Cincinnati Bearcats vs Georgetown Hoyas -2 — Big East Conference Tournament Quarterfinals
Yesterday’s perfect 3-0 record on TheSportsGeek.com was buoyed by a 2-0 Big East performance, so let’s keep things rolling with another Big East Tournament breakdown. Cincinnati used a late surge to leap to the #4 seed in the tourney, and earn a double-bye into the quarterfinals. Georgetown, despite a much stronger tournament and national profile is technically the “road” team in this game. The Hoyas played well in yesterday’s tuneup, putting an end to longtime conference stalwart Pitt’s decade-long NCAA Tournament appearance streak with a double-digit victory.
Georgetown is projected as a #3 seed in most NCAA Bracket projections, but would not do themselves any favors if they were to lose to the Bearcats today. They could remain as a three due to the relative weakness of the field across the three and four lines, but certainly not one you’d feel real good about heading into the Dance. Georgetown was just ‘okay’ down the stretch; they played extremely well in a 59-41 dominating win over Notre Dame and looked awesome in back-to-back wins in early February – a thirty point win over USF and a fourteen point win over UConn. Perhaps the most impressive things about those wins? Their average points allowed in those three wins was 43.3ppg. That’s getting it done on the defensive end!
Of course, they have some equally troubling losses in the last three weeks as well. An 83-67 loss to Marquette and a 73-55 loss to Seton Hall isn’t very encouraging. In fact, it seems like they Hoyas have been blowing teams out at home and getting blown out on the road. So what to make of this afternoon’s neutral site matchup with Cincinnati?
The Bearcats have finished strong and have all but eliminated any “bubble” talk by earning the 4-seed in the Big East Tourney. They have won five of their last six, including impressive wins over Louisville, Seton Hall and Marquette. In fact, their only loss was a one-point loss on the road to likely tourney team USF. Much of their resurgence has been due to the emergence of Sean Kilpatrick as a bonafide scorer. The sophomore forward has scored double figures in eight of his last ten games and gives the Bearcats a nice counter against the athletic bigs of Georgetown.
I am a big fan of momentum when it comes to college basketball predictions. The Bearcats have that feel of a team peaking at the right time. They have ridden through their share of adversity this season, and Mick Cronin has them playing their best basketball at exactly the right time. The fact that they are getting three points on a neutral floor today is too appealing to pass up.
Give me the Bearcats and the three in a great matinee contest at Madison Square Garden.
Free Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats +3